I used to think of travel as expensive and exotic, a sort of luxury reserved for the wealthy. But nowadays, I've found that it's easy to find yourself halfway across the world on a shoestring budget if you know what you're doing. Cheap travel doesn't have to mean scrimping and saving in some remote hostel or jumping on every free walking tour that comes your way. In fact, local connections are the best way to save money while traveling. The key to travel longer and cheaper is to be resourceful and willing to put yourself out there and that means doing more than just checking off boxes in a guidebook!
Consider your own labor as currency.
For many people, the biggest challenge of traveling is saving money. But even if you're not willing to work for free, there are ways to make sure your trip doesn't break the bank. One technique is to consider your own labor as currency: if you have skills like writing, web design or teaching English offer them up in exchange for a stay at someone's home or some other form of accommodation outside of hotels.
For example, I first got an apartment in Barcelona by offering classes in English and French on the side (for free). I made enough money doing so that my rent was paid for several months until I found employment at an international school all while living rent-free!
And don't worry about how much time this can take up: most hosts will be happy with just two hours per week spent helping out around the house or interacting with their guests through conversation or teaching lessons.
Study local language.
Learning the local language is key to experiencing a country on your own terms.
Learning local language can help you get cheaper flights and hotels, improve your social life and even earn you more money. The language of the country you are traveling in can open so many doors for you with locals who don't speak English. People will be more willing to help you out or give you advice if they know it's something that interests or excites them. You'll also be able to make friends with people who speak only Spanish, German or French instead of constantly having someone translate for both sides of the conversation!
It's also important to remember that just because some countries may look similar on paper (they might share similar cultures), it doesn't mean their languages are as well! For example: Thailand and Vietnam have very different languages despite being in close proximity geographically speaking... In fact there are over 100 million native speakers across Southeast Asia alone!
Represent your country well.
- Be polite and respectful. Remember you are representing your country, so act accordingly.
- Be aware of cultural differences. Think about how different places might perceive what you consider to be normal behavior or social norms. It's easy to accidentally offend someone if you don't know their customs so educate yourself!
- Be aware of political differences. If there are tensions between your country and the place where you're traveling, it's important not only for safety reasons but also because some people might get offended if they find out that someone from "the other side" is in their city!
- Be aware of religious differences. Some countries have strict laws about what people can wear or do or say when it comes down to religion due to its sacred nature; other countries may have very little regard for religion at all (and thus could find any public display offensive). So before leaving home make sure that whatever traditions or rituals associated with your faith won't cause problems while abroad!
Ditch the guidebook.
Guidebooks are expensive. A good guidebook can cost you more than $20, which is a lot to pay for a book that isn't particularly helpful in the first place. Guidebooks are often outdated by the time they hit shelves and when they do go out of date, there's no real way of knowing how out-of-date they are until you get to your destination and find something isn't right.
Guidebooks don't offer any real insight into your destination; they're designed to be read on the plane or train before you arrive at your destination so that you have an idea of what there is in the area before deciding where exactly you want to go next. While this might seem like an advantage over not reading anything at all before leaving home, it also means that if something changes after publication say, if there was construction going on during research time but not when printing began the book won't reflect those changes when it reaches readers' hands.
Guidebooks aren't always accurate either: While someone who works for Lonely Planet might have researched every single detail about their destination city down pat (and believe me, I'm sure some do), others may only have visited once prior through another job assignment meaning their knowledge about things like local cuisine could easily be limited just like yours would be if all this were happening without internet access or other resources available at home!
Find some pen pals or a host family before you go.
Looking for a great way to travel longer and cheaper? One of the best things you can do is connect with people before you go. That's because it gives you more options when it comes to finding work, accommodation and making friends.
If you're planning on traveling for an extended period, one of the first things I would recommend is finding a pen pal or host family. A good place to start is through language exchange websites like HelloTalk (free). You'll be able to connect with locals who are learning your native language and vice versa, which can help break down barriers when it comes time for them to help out your trip in return! Another great option is Couchsurfing ($20-30 USD per year), where people offer free places to stay as hosts throughout their cities--and there's a network of over 2 million members across 200 countries! This also gives travelers extra connections beyond just those who speak English fluently enough that they're willing to teach it out loud during conversation... so if someone contacts them beforehand then there should be no problem making sure everyone understands what each other needs from this arrangement before going ahead with anything else."
Labor, language, and local connections are the best way to travel cheaply and to really get to know a place.
Working, learning the local language, staying with a family or friend, or making friends with locals are all great ways to get closer to your destination. The best and cheapest way to do this is by finding work before you leave. There are online jobs that pay you for helping businesses market themselves, such as Fiverr.com or Gigbucks.com (which also offer translation services). You can also find other sites that list local jobs through Craigslist and other classifieds sites.
So there you have it, folks! The world is your oyster. You can go anywhere and meet anyone if you just know how to travel well. It might not be the easiest thing to do especially at first but it’s worth every bit of effort. If you’ve been thinking about traveling but just don’t have enough money or time, then this should give you some ideas of what to do.